After a long time of resisting the urge, it was decided that today we would watch ‘The Hunger Games’. Let me stop you from here if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, you will have no idea what I am talking about.
In preparation to watch the movie I began reading the book and I gobbled it up in one day; it was so thrilling, I literally could not put it down.
Needless to say, I was lifting of the floor excited to see the movie… how misguided I was.
I won’t talk about ALL the discrepancies.
I’m sure there are more intense fans of the books who have exposed the motifs that they horrendously ignored: like the witty conversation between Katniss and Peeta, or the gift from district 11 to Katniss after Rue died, or the fact that District 11’s specialty is agriculture which is how Rue knew how to heal the stings, the mockingjay motif that correlates with her father singing and how Peeta’s father lost Katniss’ mother because of her father’s voice and that’s why Peeta fell in love with her, etc….
I will only discuss two issues at length because I need to let some steam off.
- They got WOODY HARRELSON to play Haymitch and I was sooooo excited to see him rock that part!
– The relationship between him and Katniss is portrayed all wrong. She is supposed to wrongfully believe that he hates her and then she would later realize that he was really trying to help her and that he became a drunk because he got tired of mentoring kids that end up dying.
– Many of the sponsor gifts that he sends her in the book for specific reasons and at specific timings just don’t show up. I was really disappointed because this really said a lot about their relationship and about how he knew how to coach her to get her what she needed from the sponsors. AND they could have done so much with Harrelson playing the part… So disappointing.
2. One important aspect of the whole “Hunger Games” theme is how disgustingly inhumane the concept is: setting kids against each other in a fight to death. There were so many important parts of the book that cater to this cruelty. The movie didn’t arouse any rage in me.
– All they show her doing is waiting around, if someone hadn’t read the book it would look like Katniss just avoided everyone and won by luck. In the book she is so smart and she doesn’t necessarily fight combat but she does push herself to extreme limits. The intelligence and wittiness used by the tributes is crucial to surviving and we are not let in on any of that process. (That would be how drunk Haymitch won the games, the only winner from District 12. He outsmarted everyone.)
– The scene in which Cato dies is so lame and stupid compared to the book’s. In the book they drag out Cato’s death for hours with the beasts (who were supposed to be the other tributes genetically mutated). Why do they drag out his death you ask? Because the game maker knows that the people are definitely watching at this point. Why ? Because Peeta’s leg should be severely injured from the beasts, and he is supposedly bleeding out, and they are supposedly in a hurry for Cato to die so that they can get Peeta some medical help. It wasn’t until hours of listening to Cato suffer that Katniss shoots him with the arrow that she was using as a tourniquet to stop Peeta from bleeding out. Even when they beam Peeta and Katniss up, she is supposed to be worried about his leg because without the tourniquet, he’s bleeding out. Not to mention that Katniss goes crazy banging on the glass as they operate on Peeta and try to revive him. This played a serious part in convincing President Snow and the Capitol that they were in love. Can you tell why I was really disappointed to see that last scene end up so bland and generic?
– Another aspect of cruelty that they did not show in the movie was the thirst and starvation that the tributes faced. Katniss is supposed to be skin and bone by the end of it. After the couple wins they spend time apart in hospital beds recuperating before they reunite them on stage to evaluate whether she had shown the Capitol up or whether she really loved him. Without this aspect the games seem so lame! Not nearly as trying as they seem in the book.
THEREFORE, I can safely conclude, never read the book before watching the movie, you will inevitably be disappointed.